May 26, 2010

You what Barcelona are? A bunch of f*cking c*cks. Not content with getting Cesc to push for a move, they are more than happy to just sit back and not even bother their arse tabling an offer for the player that they profess to want so much. If I was Cesc I would be more than just a bit miffed to be treated so shabbily by his suitors that also happen to be his boyhood club. They are quite happy to sit back and watch his reputation get damaged with the Arsenal fans. I love Cesc and I really, really want him to stay at the club, but Barcelona are doing their damnedest to make sure that this will be a long, protracted, epic and dirty transfer saga. It seems like it’ll be a tantric divorce. How did we go from Tantric Cesc to a Tantric Divorce so quickly? Sting, take note, this is likely to push the boundaries of stamina.


As Gooners, we all accept that Cesc will leave us someday. That’s just a fact of life. He came to us as a 16yr old, we turned him into a man, we nurtured and honed him as a footballer. But, we always accepted that he would, one-day, go back to Barcelona.


I’ve been a proper Arsenal fan since I was around 13 or 14yrs old. I was recruited by my brother to redress the balance in our household to two Arsenal fans and two ManUre fans, my father having defected from Arsenal to ManUre about 15yrs beforehand. In my time as a fan, I have gotten just three player’s names on the back of my jerseys. The first was Pires, the second Bergkamp and the third was Cesc. I only get the players I really love on my shirt. I came close to getting Adams on my 1995 home shirt, but for one reason or another, that didn’t happen. I still wish I had done. Anyway, the point is that I love Cesc and I want him to stay and lead this team to silverware.


However, I am now having to finally make peace with the fact that we are about to lose our best player, the player that I love most in this current squad. Maybe it’s because he has been here since he was 16, maybe it’s because he is one of the greatest players in the world, maybe it’s a bit of both, but it is going to rip a hole in the heart of the side and also the hearts of the fans when he inevitably departs us, which unfortunately looks like being this summer. The fact that Cesc’s father has said that his son wants top leave seems to be one of the final nails being hammered home in the coffin of our beloved Catalan’s Arsenal career. The full transcript of his father’s radio interview can be seen here. Surely that interview could be used as evidence that tapping up has taken place? How do Barcelona think they can get away with telling him to ignore the clubs that can afford to pay more for him as that’d drive up the price?


If he does leave, our final memory of him will be finishing the game against Barcelona with a broken leg. That’s an astonishing feat, and memory, and shows how much he was willing to give for the team. Perhaps a part of him doesn’t want to bow out as Arsenal captain without having lifted a trophy? We can but hope.


The way that Barcelona are prepared to drag this whole saga out is really making me angry. They are more than willing to risk damaging Cesc’s relationship with the Arsenal faithful in order to back Arsenal into a corner in a bid to get their man at a lower price. Well, this really is the time for Arsenal to make a stand. Not just a stand for the good of the club, but also for the good of the game. Big clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid cannot be allowed to bully other teams around.


I’ve read reports in papers saying that Arsenal should let him go because we got him from Barcelona when he was 16yrs old and that, therefore, we should accept a smaller fee because we are now selling him back to that same club. The point that those reports fail to properly address is the fact that we paid the guts of £2m for him in compensation, so it isn’t exactly like we got him on the cheap as a 16yr old. The fact that he has matured and developed into the player he is now is irrelevant, the original deal to bring him to Arsenal shouldn’t be linked to this potential deal. Arsenal should receive the full market value for a player of his quality.


There is a paraphrased quote from Pires at the bottom of this article in Sport which, I think, says that it’ll be both complicated and difficult to convince Wenger to let Cesc go. I say ‘I think’ because I don’t speak Spanish so that is just my best guess. Super Rob is also quoted in the Daily Shite Mail as saying that he thinks Cesc will stay with us. Let’s hope he is right.


Elsewhere, the Mirror makes another very tenuous link between Mertesacker and Arsenal by using a quote in which he says he may be interested by a foreign club that has been playing in the Champions League for a number of years. That could be any decent club outside of Germany, so it is by no means a direct reference to Arsenal. But, the Arsenal link makes for better speculation than, say, Lyon. It’s a bit like me saying ‘I like beer, particularly beer that is regularly sold in bars’ and then someone saying that I have got a job in a brewery, or something. Maybe. But, you get what I am trying to say.


The Mirror also links us with another Spanish kid but, to be honest, I don’t want to see links to teenage footballers this summer. I want to see us sign proper men with experience and quality.


Some good news, Carlos Vela might be seeking pastures new after the World Cup. Hope he isn’t counting on teams signing him based on his actual  performances on the pitch, or we’ll be lumbered with him. I also have a feeling that his departure won’t be up to him, I reckon he could get the old ‘Spanish archer’ from Wenger.


Unsurprising news, but Fran Merida has officially been signed by Atletico Madrid on a 4yr contract and looks set to  be unveiled by them this coming Friday. Good luck, Fran. Hope it all works out for you. When you signed for us, your YouTube compilation video clips were very impressive.


UEFA’s new financial fair play rules are set to be introduced tomorrow and will take effect from the 2012-2013 season onwards, though they will be gradually introduced. Basically, clubs will have to live within their means with regard to wages and transfer spending. Spending on infrastructure can still be subsidized by by the owner in the form of equity investment, not a loan. I wish that they were coming into effect from next season as that would put Arsenal in a very strong position. However, we will soon see the likes of Chelsea and City looking to severely cut their costs in order to meet the new financial regulations, which is good news for Arsenal.


It’s a long post today thanks in no small measure to Kirin beer, as I wrote the first 700-800 words while drinking last night. Hope you have made it through and are still awake. If so, well done!


There is a comprehensive month-by-month season review over at Gunnerblog. It’s good, so check it out.

***UPDATE: The latest on the Cesc situation is that it is, apparently, all down to what Arsene wants to do and what he decides is best for both the club and Cesc. I guess we will just have to wait and see. The video of that interview is here.

Venting done. Take it easy.